Mark Hohlstein of Sheffield received a Martha Boschen Porter Fund grant last year to work on a stop-motion puppet animation film called "Plastic Flowers." He builds miniature sets and patiently positions each puppet by hand for the project. Regional artists may apply to the fund by July 15 for 2019 grants. Photo: John Dolan  
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 
Supporting Seniors: For the first time, the Fund for Columbia County dedicated a portion of its grantmaking this year to projects that create a lasting and positive impact on older residents, with a particular emphasis on low-income residents. Nine nonprofits received one-time grants to help seniors exercise, socialize and age in place. Read more on our blog
DeMayo Award: The Fund for Williamstown held its annual gathering this month to celebrate the generous donors and grant recipients who are working to make Williamstown a more vibrant place to live. The fund honored the Outreach Ministry Team of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown with the DeMayo Bright Futures Innovation Award for its demonstrated commitment to immigrants and their successful integration into the community. Attendees at the gathering also saluted outgoing committee chair Jason Dohaney and committee member Sarah Thurston Housman, who are stepping down after 10 years of leadership. 
Board, Staff & Committee News 
New Board Members: Three new members were elected to the BTCF board this month. David Offensend of Wassaic is chief executive officer of Education Development Center, Darlene Rodowicz of Cheshire is chief financial officer of Berkshire Health Systems and Eleanore Velez of Lee is an admissions counselor and coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Berkshire Community College. We welcome their expertise and leadership.     
New Board Chair: Bob Norris was elected as our new board chair this month.The Great Barrington resident, who was a longtime teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School, joined our board in 2013. He has been critical to the launch and leadership of a range of nonprofit organizations, including Multicultural BRIDGE and Berkshire South Regional Community Center. He replaces Sarah Stack, who served as chair for three years and will continue to sit on our board. We thank them both for their inspirational work and dedication to our region. 
New FCC Committee Member: New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett recently joined the Fund for Columbia County's advisory committee. She was previously a member of the Northeast Dutchess Fund's committee. Both area funds are dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents.
Staff Attend MCLA Conference: BTCF President Peter Taylor and Community Engagement Officers Amy Taylor and Kelly Sweet attended a conference on diversity, equity and inclusion this month at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The college hosted the event to launch its new Institute for the Arts and Humanities, which seeks to promote these values through community engagement and experiential learning opportunities. The conference was funded in part by Berkshire Taconic's Arts Build Community initiative. 
Staff Member Speaks at Seminar: Community Engagement Officer Amy Taylor spoke about the role philanthropy can play in program design and evaluation at a daylong conference focused on community-based interventions to improve children's health. The event, which was held at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge last week, featured multiple perspectives from leaders in the fields of education and health.  
Grants in the News
Creative Arts in School:   A grant from the Lenox Education Enrichment Foundation allowed Lenox Memorial High School students with special needs to engage in the creative arts, including a choreographed dance performance. Details of the Community Access to the Arts program were featured in a recent Berkshire Record article.
Clampitt Residency: Poet Jessica Piazza spoke with the Berkshire Eagle about her six-month residency at Amy Clampitt's former home near Lenox. The article highlights the Los Angeles resident's newfound love of the Berkshires, the projects she's worked on during her stay and her final area reading at The Bookstore in Lenox on Friday, June 28, at 5:30 p.m.    
Coming Up
Walkin' with WordXWord: With support from Berkshire Taconic's Amy Clampitt Fund, poets, dancers and other performers will respond to the SculptureNow exhibition now on the grounds of The Mount, Edith Wharton's Home, on July 21 and Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. The events are presented in partnership with Jacob's Pillow, Lift Ev'ry Voice and The Mount.  
Clambake Fundraiser: The Jane Lloyd Fund's annual clambake will be held at Satre Hill in Salisbury on Saturday, July 27, from 2 to 8 p.m. The traditional summer event benefits the Jane Lloyd Fund, which supports the basic needs of cancer patients and their families in northwest Connecticut. Learn more and purchase tickets on the fund's website. 
Music in the Annex: Thanks in part to a grant from the Northeast Dutchess Fund, the NorthEast-Millerton Library regularly hosts performers of all genres as part of its Music in the Annex concert series. The library will present a songwriter showcase on Saturday, July 27, starting at 7:30 p.m.